Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tasty Treats in San Miguel de Allende - A Listing of Some Restaurants

With 234 restaurants in San Miguel, one could find just about any culinary delight one could imagine.

We have Japanese, Chinese, Lebanese, Italian, Mexican, American BBQ, just to name a few.
At one point we had a restaurant that served Sri Lankan food!  It lasted for several years.

Here are a list of some of the favorites.  Most on this list have been here for quite some time.  Some had previous owners with previous names, but the ambiance and the food have always been delicious.

For special occasions, I like Gayle's place with the fancy name of Hacienda de Montitlan.  No one who has lived here for very long remembers that and all who dine there refer to it as "Gayle's place".  Gayle is a former caterer and restaurant owner. She prepares all this food in her commercial kitchen in her huge home. EVERYTHING is made from scratch.  A menu is sent out weekly and if you are making reservations on Tuesday when you receive it, you choose from 3 entrees, usually 3 appetizers and 3 desserts.  Always beyond expectations.

Casa de los Milagros, or as we call it "Milagros",  has an extensive menu, great waiters and is located right in centro.  It's about a half block on Relox from where we have the Koffee Klatch group.  Hence, we choose it for lunch on Mondays often.  We are never disappointed.  Their tilapia salad is amazingly large and one of my favorites.

Another restaurant in centro, just a half block past Milagros is China Palace.  Dining alfresco is always a favorite of everyone.  China Palace, along with Gayle's place have that in spades.  My favorite meal at
China Palace is Orange chicken. I try to get there, if I'm lucky, once a month.

Tio Lucas and Hank's along with Chamonix are within walking distance of the jardin.  Tio Lucas has always been a favorite of the locals and visitors.  It's a little pricier then the others, but the food is always delicious. Expect a wait at night after 9PM, it's a popular place.

Hank's is Cajun cuisine.  I go there when I'm craving a poor boy or gumbo.  They used to have red beans and rice, but I guess not enough people ordered it so it was dropped, unfortunately.  If you're from Louisiana, you'll understand my disappointment in that fact. Hank's has Taco Tuesday.  I think the Tacos are a dollar a piece.  Of course they make their money on the booze they sell, so tacos for a dollar is a bargain for us and them.

Chamonix is a little hidden restaurant on Sollano with a red door.  It is mostly courtyard dining along with one room that each time I've been there was having a private dinner in that room.  They have Thai, International and many Mexican dishes as well.  A favorite of mine.

Over on Calzada de Aurora, the former owner of Romano's has opened a restaurant that is only open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  But it is worth the trek there and worth waiting for the steaks, osso bucco, creme brulee and pate' just to name a few of the favorites of the crowd.  My little secret is that when I go, I only have the pate' and creme brulee.  The name of the restaurant is Hanson's who happens to be one of the partners in the venture.  Dick, the owner is a long time restauranteur who knows how to keep consistency, good help and a welcoming smile for everyone.  Great guy, great restaurant.

Going out toward the Instituto and continuing on are several restaurants on Ancha de San Antonio.

The first is Cafe Monet. Have never had a bad meal there.  Bill, the owner is a delight along with his staff.
Usually I'm there for breakfast and his steel cut oatmeal.  Breakfast of oatmeal and coffee is forty pesos.  A real bargain.  Other breakfast fare includes Eggs Benedict, omelets, hotcakes, etc.  His lunch and evening selections are equally good.

On the opposite side of the street is Hecho en Mexico.  Eric the owner, graduated from the culinary program in Nevada and knows consistency, good menu planning, and how to train a good staff.
His lunch prices are quite amazing so many of us on a fixed income have lunch there frequently.  In addition, now there is a full bar and music on Friday nights.  It is a very pleasant atmosphere with an open courtyard in part of it that can be closed if it is raining or cold.

Going farther out the same street on the left, before the Pemex station, is the Texas hangout called Longhorn.  Typical BBQ fare, delicious ribs, brisket, sausage with sides of cole slaw, potato salad and/or beans is the usual fare.  Now they are having specials.  On Thursday night it is steak for 99 pesos which comes with baked potato and salad.  I hear it is a packed place that night.  The owner, Keith, had never been in the restaurant business before coming to San Miguel.  He previously lived in Houston and is a Brit.
He's learned the trade and has a loyal clientele.

When I need a taste of Texas, I head there and have a brisket sandwich.  ALWAYS see someone I know, which is kinda fun.

Often on Fridays, the Koffee Klatch group meets at LaFrontera on Sterling Dickinson.  There is a special each day.  On Fridays it is fish tacos with either fish or shrimp.  Delicious.  We always try to sit outside unless it is too cold and windy.  Only a couple months of the year that that happens, thankfully.

Two other restaurants that are off the beaten path are The Food Factory which is at La Aurora.  It has a menu similar to Chamonix.  Unfortunately they don't have alfresco dining, but the food is always delicious.
Pastas, Thai, and a few other tasty items.

Then out of town, but soon to have a location in town, is Pizza Pig.  Tim, the owner, has created a fun place to dine on fresh ingredient pizzas.  He makes his own Italian sausage to use on the pizzas.  Some of us order the vegetarian pizza and add a few other ingredients.  We've had many a birthday party out there.  If you read the blog, you've seen many of the wacky photos over the years.

Now, before I start getting posts asking why I left some restaurant off the list, it was not meant as a slight of any kind.  There are so many others that this could go on and on.  The fun thing is discovering those on your own.

I must confess, if left to me, I would eat at Villa Santa Monica, a luxurious, small boutique hotel near Juarez Park, often.  The food is not particularly good, but the courtyard where you dine, is one of the prettiest spots in San Miguel.  I often go there by myself just for a little bite  so I can remember how dining in Mexico used to be.  Slow, personable and quiet among beautiful flowers and blue sky.

Let me know your favorite places in San Miguel.  I admit that I eat more at home then out at restaurants.
Gosh, while I was writing that sentence three more restaurants came to mind.  Oh well.


Rick said...

I never ordered the red beans at Hanks but should have. Not easy to find this cuisine outside of NOLA.

Babs said...

Rick, Houston has so many transplanted Louisiana people that you can find GREAT gumbo, red beans and rice and GREAT po boys - not here. I just make red beans and rice at home, but, then I need an army to join me! ha.

Dan in NC said...

TOTALLY agree with your list - especially Hansens! Best steak and chop I've had in Mexico - a SMA rival to Lugars in NYC ! Also Luv St Augustine cafe for churros y chocolate after an evening out! You know someone is going to mention Tacos Don Felix as a favorite place as well..Thanks for your list! Cheers

Babs said...

Dan, thanks for your comment. Churros and chocolate are great!

This list is more an "every man's list" rather then the really expensive places that I'm appalled at how much they charge. You know, the "see and be seen" places.....

La Tejedora said...

Chamonix is one of my favorites. Also, I love Muro, great food, good prices. Thanks for your list, Barbara!

Jeannie said...

La Parada on Recreo near the Parque Juarez.

Babs said...

Muro is good also!

Jeanie, the one time I went to La Parada it was so disorganized and they didn't honor our reservation, that I've never been back. Need to try it again. Thanks for the reminder.

Unknown said...

Hi again, Babs:

On a different topic, you have mentioned people have asked you for advise on real estate in San Miguel: rentals, etc. Do you have anyone in particular you could point me in the direction of who can advise on accommodations?
Again, follow and love your blog. Tricia (

Shannon said...

Excellent choices on your list. You are certainly right that it is impossible to mention all the good restaurants in San Miguel as there are just so many.

I also like the out of the way location of Ten Ten Pie on Stirling Dickinson, just up the street from La Frontera. Not a big menu and everything is cooked on a big grill, so you can watch with your mouth watering while they make your meal.
Then there is Cafe Rama, another of my favourites, and right across the street from Cafe Rama is a little taco joint called La Palapa that is very inexpensive and really good. If you want a taco treat, one should also visit the taco cart that sets up outside the parking garage on the corner of Hidalgo and Insurgentes every night.
Okay, that's my list, LOL.

Babs said...

Thanks Shannon. Gosh we used to go to LaPalapa at least once a week back when Carla's father started it. In fact we used to make trips to Queretaro for him to bring the hamburger patties back from Costco!
You forget about some of these places over the years.
I didn't even list the "la de da" restaurants with prices rivaling NYC!

Anonymous said...

Ok, now I'm going to have to extend my stay! This is a wonderful list to start out with on a first trip to SMA. Putting this post in my file for the trip.

Babs said...

Glad I could be of help, Angelinem.

Retired Teacher said...

Quite a range of international restaurants! My friend Alejandro has had a similar culinary experience during his visit up here in Ohio. So far, in addition to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, he has had Italian, Indian, Chinese, and French food. Tonight we are going for Barbequed ribs, and tomorrow we are having German food.
So, what is your recommendation for the best traditional Mexican food in San Miguel?

Babs said...

Bugambilla - been opened over 50 years. The owner, a woman is a chef and involved with AICP. American Institute of Culinary Professionals. It is located on Mesones near Hernandez Macias.

Most restaurants here have a section for traditional Mexican food on their menu besides the other things.

Bugambilla has been lauded by the likes of Bon Appetit magazine in years past. One of the places that I took my tour groups when they came to San Miguel.

Unknown said...

A fairly new offering, but one of our favorites, is Provecho . . . just a bit further than Hecho en Mexico. Never a disappointment!

Babs said...

Thanks Janet. I keep meaning to stop in there! And Paprika which is in that little courtyard by Farmacia Guadalajara that I've heard nice things about!

So many places, not enough time!

Unknown said...

We had a chance to see a bit of San Miguel last Sunday. We arrived after dark from Aguascalientes and drove back there after midnight. Needless to say, it was adventure. Anyway, we went to Hank's and enjoyed some soup. We then headed out to enjoy some of the night views from the rooftop bars. I have plans to visit for a few days on my next inland Mexico trip to enjoy the daytime views.

I really enjoy reading your blog and look forward to every entry.

Babs said...

Thanks Unknown for posting. I think that is the shortest visit I've ever heard of! Glad you enjoyed it though. Come back and stay longer, sometime.

Gracias for the positive comment on the blog also......